Archive for the ‘China’ Category

New Found Luxury—Caviar for Shanghai’s Young & Wealthy – China

Saturday, August 27th, 2011


I recall being a guest at a very special dinner given for the anniversary of a Chinese company in Jakarta, Indonesia. As far as  beverages were concerned they offered selections of either tea, soft drinks, beer or cognac. A bottle of Hennessy XO was placed on each large, round table. Along with my two friends, both Scotsmen, we  managed to commandeer unwanted bottles from surrounding tables occupied mostly by ladies who did not drink it. We collected three or four bottles and polished them off  by the end of the evening. With so many courses, and so much food over many hours I soon began to notice that the cognac was becoming more wine-like (it is made from grapes after all) as we paired it with the lavish Chinese food, while vaguely-listening to boring speeches as the evening wore on. This was my first experience to attend a long formal Chinese dinner and consume food accompanied by their favorite beverage cognac. As a Westerner, I was used to drinking cognac in a snifter after dinner, and  I thought at the time, how upset the cognac makers would be if they knew how their prized bottles were being drunk. Not so as it turned out,  after talking to a few knowledgeable cognac distillers,  they said that they rather not know how the end-consumer dealt with their product.

Today, nothing much has changed since that dinner 25 years ago, as far as the Chinese love of cognac is concerned. These days some clever entrepreneurs are trying to introduce caviar to wealthy Chinese, by way of pairing it with their favorite spirit—cognac;  it seems as if  Chinese diners will devour anything if it is accompanied by fine brandy.

In the past and to this day the most extravagant dishes to offer honored guests by Chinese standards are:  abalone, sharks fin, and possibly bird’s nest soup, although these days Shanghai’s wealthy, young crowd are beginning to crave Chinese-branded caviar from Tianxia sturgeon; but don’t tell them it is “Made in China”, as Chinese products have a bad reputation even in China, not to mention the rest of the world!

Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou – China

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Four Seasons Hangzhou

Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake. In China’s most picturesque setting, Four Seasons reveals an intimate lakeside village, melding centuries of tradition with chic contemporary style. Convenient to business and shopping, discover a tranquil enclave, woven with ponds, streams and lagoons. Experience the gentle spirit of Chinese hospitality in exclusive private dining rooms and resort-style recreation, including two swimming pools and a cutting-edge designer spa. Deftly sophisticated Four Seasons care instills confidence and delight.

Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake


Lagoon Suites
Lagoon Suites are corner suites offering a king bedroom with separate living area, a 14 square metres (150 square feet) terrace offers extended views. Lagoon Suites are 130 square metres (1,399 square feet).
Lake Suite
This 140 square metres (1,506 square feet) corner suite offers fantastic views of picturesque West Lake and landscaped gardens from a 23.5 square metres (253 square feet) terrace.
Garden Villas
Perfectly secluded at one end of the Hotel, a magnificent three-bedroom Garden Villas each feature a private swimming pool and landscaped garden, offering larger families, groups of friends or private gatherings space to relax and entertain.
Presidential Villa
Located at one end of the hotel, the Presidential Villa is a magnificent three-bedroom villa featuring a private swimming pool and landscaped garden, making it ideal for larger families, groups of friends or private gatherings.
JIN SHA: At the heart of Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake will be Jin Sha Restaurant, a dining experience that promises to keep local gourmands coming back for more, and travelers from afar recommending it to friends. Featuring exquisite Shanghainese, Cantonese and classical local cuisine presented by an attentive Four Seasons staff, Jin Sha will be a lively bar for pre-dinner drinks and a chic restaurant suitable for business meetings and social occasions. There are eleven private dining pavilions that allow guests to entertain discreetly. Terraces afford lagoon views and willow-veiled glimpses of West Lake, enhancing a truly memorable dining experience.
WLB: Short for West Lake Bistro, WLB is a comfortable, all-day restaurant serving both Asian and Western cuisine. Relax indoors in bright interiors, or outdoors on a terrace overlooking the swimming pool and enchanting West Lake. Discover delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake
LOBBY LOUNGE: Nestled beside the front reception area in a comfortable and welcoming setting, the Lobby Lounge is the perfect place to meet or relax. Traditional tea service highlights Hangzhou’s famous green tea, Longjing.
THE BAR: Offering a dynamic atmosphere, The Bar is an appealing destination for drinks and entertainment. The menu presents a varied selection of premium liqueurs and champagne.
24 HOUR IN-ROOM DINING: Four Seasons In-Room Dining is a fine-dining experience within the comfort and convenience of your guest room or suite. Choose from an extensive menu – day or night – that is ideal for timezone-hopping travelers and impromptu meetings, or for quiet, private dining. It is available 24 hours a day.
DESIGN CONCEPT: One might imagine that Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake has been there for a very long time, because although it’s newly built, it adheres to a traditional regional style known as Jiang Nan. Characterised by pagoda-like peaked roof pavilions linked by walkways through carefully landscaped water gardens, Jiang Nan was popularised during the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. The colour palette features white walls, black tiles, gray rocks and red columns in harmony with natural greens and browns, and blue sky. The use of water features such as lagoons and streams allows for cooling in hot weather. The small scale of Jiang Nan gardens provides an intimacy and connectivity with nature as bamboo represents forests, and rocks are reminiscent of walking in quiet valley riverbeds. It’s a style that encourages a feeling of unity with one’s environment, an elegantly calm existence sought by emperors, and travelers, for centuries.
With its gardens, lakeside setting and resort-like amenities, guests may imagine they are in a country club, rather than an urban hotel just minutes from business, shopping and cultural attractions.

Le Méridien Shimei Bay on the South China Sea – China

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Shimei BayLe Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa Shimei Bay, Liji County, Wanning City, Hainan • China
Phone: +86 898 6252 8888 • Fax: +86 898 6252 8999 • Email:

Le Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa is situated in the Shimei Bay Resort District, southeast of Wanning City on 12 hectares, surrounded by lush hillside and the pristine South China Sea. Stunning golf courses surround the resort, as do six kilometres of white sandy beaches.

Lagoon Pool BarLagoon Pool Bar . . . for a refreshing drink or delicious snack at this Lagoon bar with floating pool loungers, located within the Lagoon Pool. This bar serves soft drinks and beer. Liquor is available upon request. 
Cuisine:Light Fare
; Opening Hours:12:00 pm – 6:00 pm; 
Atmosphere: Relax at Poolside

The Astor Hotel – Tianjin, China

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Astor Hotel Tianjin, ChinaThe Astor Hotel, Tianjin
 • 33 Taier Zhuang Road, Tianjin • China • Phone: +86 22 2303 2026 • Fax: +86 22 2303 2026 • Email:

Timeless elegance awaits you at The Astor Hotel, Tianjin. Originally opened in 1863, the exquisite and treasured landmark is a step back into a bygone era. Host to myriad Prime Ministers and Presidents, the British style structure is ideally situated in Tianjin’s progressive financial district. Each of the 152 guest rooms and suites pays homage to The Astor’s fabled heritage.
Unrivaled grace can be found in the luxurious décor of the elegant restaurants. The sumptuous cuisine and tailored service are some of the finest gastronomic experiences in the city. The British style pub also provides the perfect backdrop in which to enjoy a cooling drink or glass of wine.